I put up two new banner photos the other day, which is not unusual in and of itself. I am trying to remember to rotate the banners on my personal page and my professional page monthly. It’s a way of changing things up, inviting comments and discussions, and otherwise sharing a bit of my work.
This time, however, the banners both bear an embedded caption stating something close to ‘I’ve been to Iraq Twice, and No, I am Not A Combat Veteran.’ This has puzzled a few people so I wanted to explain why I did this.
No, I’m not complaining about not being a combat veteran nor about having gone to Iraq twice. Frankly, I count my embeds there as two of the best things that ever happened to me.
The reason why I put this here has to do with this post, this post, and a trip backwards to this post. The short version is, a reality TV show I had never heard of had one of the people on it busted out for stolen valor, as in falsifying information about his service. He had served, but not as claimed. POS got booted.
That wasn’t the end of it. Apparently, one of the other people on it named Joe Teti — and to my mind they qualify as neither star nor celebrity — was indicating they were a combat veteran and his service came into question. Jonn, founder of This Ain’t Hell, ended up speaking with this person, reviewed his records, and came out in support of this person.
In my opinion, Jonn gave him a pass on implying or stating that he was a combat veteran. I think Jonn was way too kind, as the person in question left service in 2001 after nine years, with no combat service while in uniform. He apparently went over later as a contractor, but I am one of those who says that to be a combat veteran with all that implies, one has to have been in combat in uniform. It was a meh issue for me, though there was a good discussion on the subject in the comments.
For some reason no one can quite figure out, the reality TV person decided to repay Jonn’s kindness, and make no mistake it was a kindness, by making all sorts of outrageous statements about Jonn and TAH on Facebook, and sending his useful idiots to attack and harass a real combat veteran who now happens to be 100 percent disabled. Oh, and he bravely challenged Jonn to fight.
For me, reading the rantings posted (and he deleted some of them, thank goodness for screen caps), told me all I need to know. Joe Teti is either stupid in the can’t be fixed category and really can’t understand the difference between comments and links and what the author wrote, or, a lying, backstabbing blue falcon who will do anything for publicity. Either way, he’s a POS who deserves no further consideration and benefit of the doubt. In my book (and opinion) he is not a combat veteran for having been a contractor than I am for doing combat embeds. He is no brother in arms either, as by his actions he has forfeited what he had earned by his previous service. He is also not worth further discussion, links, or consideration.
So, that’s why there are words on my current banner pictures.
UPDATE: TSO gives a devastating response to the PR hound here.